Be your own breast friend
Holding on to the pink balloon alongside a hundred or so strangers, I counted to three and then let go. Up into the air my Think Pink balloon went and was soon flying high above Dubai.
It was a poignant moment – one when I thought about my best friend’s mother who died of breast cancer when we were just 15. I’d grown up playing in her house, even going on holiday with her, and used to call her my second mum. She was intelligent, funny, kind – and then she found a lump. Her decline was so fast, she was bedridden within months, and suddenly I found myself standing, sobbing, beside my best friend, looking at her mother’s coffin barely able to believe we were saying goodbye.
That was years ago and I’m still best friends with the same girl, who now has a child of her own the same age as she was when she lost her mother. She and her daughter check themselves constantly, as do I, but sadly the statistics haven’t improved much in the decades since then. One woman in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer, but survival rates if detected early are 98 per cent. And early detection can happen – as the Joyalukkas Think Pink breast cancer awareness programme I released the balloon at reiterated – if you examine yourself monthly and go for regular check-ups and mammograms. So please remember – just a few minutes each month could save your life. Enjoy our breast cancer special. Until next week,